Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Part of the nature of my job is that I get some days that I have absolutely noting to do and I just sit there twirling my thumb in the office. Other days I would be up to my neck in things that need to be completed basically the day before even thought it was just sent down to my desk 5 minutes prior. Someday the systems that I watch over just purrs contentedly like a sleeping cat but then things could suddenly change and I find myself harassed trying to figure out what when wrong.

The latter was what happened today at the office. A few of the machines that I looked after suddenly refuse to cooperate by not going into a reboot cycle every other 5 minutes. By the time I traced the problem to a malfunctioning redundant CPU/motherboard cooling fan unit, half of the hard disks on the unit just died on power up. It didn’t help that the machine was an old piece of crap and that they decided to forego continuing the recently expired maintenance agreement in order to save cost against my fairly reasonable objections. When the machine decided to spontaneously destruct on them, they all just had to accept a big “I TOLD YOU SO” from me before I started to run through the checklist of things that might have gone wrong.

Sometimes they don’t understand that when you work long enough around the same computers you tend to learn their unique quirks. They always looked at me strangely when I describe the way the computers sounds, how the chassis vibrates and how the CPU smells. Work around them long enough you learn to pickup the differences in those sensory cues when something is wrong. Most of the time, after 10 years around the same pieces of equipment, they have yet to disappointed me.

Obviously with all that was happening today, I didn’t make it to the after office hour outing. The rest of the team carried on with the original plans after kindly enough making sure that I’ve got everything I needed to get the job done.

I could always catch that movie this weekend.

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